(The Center Square) – Tim Mapes served for years under former House Speaker Michael Madigan as the clerk of the Illinois House and as Madigan’s chief of staff. Now, Mapes has been indicted on a charge of lying to a grand jury in a federal bribery probe connected to the longtime former speaker.

Last summer, federal prosecutors revealed a deferred prosecution agreement ComEd entered into where the utility admitted to paying associates of Madigan in money and jobs in order to curry favor from the then-speaker. Com-Ed agreed to pay a $200 million fine and cooperate in the investigation.

Madigan has not been charged with a crime and has said he’s done nothing wrong. He is “Public Official A” in federal filings, a pseudonym that is used throughout the Mapes indictment documents and previous legal filings.

Four others associated with Madigan, including longtime confidant Michael McClain, and two former ComEd officials, were indicted several months ago and have pleaded not guilty. One former ComEd official, Fidel Marquez, has pleaded guilty in the case.

Wednesday, federal prosecutors released details about the indictment of Mapes.

“On March 24, 2021, Mapes was granted immunity to testify before the grand jury,” the news release says. “The immunity order provided that no testimony or evidence provided by Mapes could be used against him in a criminal case, except for perjury, giving a false statement, or otherwise failing to comply with the immunity order. On March 31, 2021, Mapes testified before the grand jury and knowingly made false material declarations in response to several questions about a consultant’s relationship with the Speaker from 2017 to 2019.”

According to the indictment, Mapes acted as a courier exchanging messages between Public Official A – Madigan – and Individual B, identified as serving in the Illinois House "between in or around 1972 and in or around 1982" and later serving as a lobbyist, a description that fits McClain, who worked as a lobbyist for ComEd after retiring from the House.

The indictment alleges that Mapes lied to the grand jury when asked about Madigan’s relationship with Individual B.

The indictment also said the special grand jury "was investigating allegations Public Official A [Madigan] and Individual B sought to obtain for others private jobs, contracts, and monetary payments from ComEd, in order to influence and reward Public Official A in connection with Public Official A’s role as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives."

There was immediate reaction from Republicans on the Illinois House floor Wednesday. State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, said ethics reforms can’t wait “for the next shoe to drop.”

“These indictments are an indictment of the culture that we’ve created and only we can change that,” Demmer said. “We cannot write off repeated indictments for corrupt acts as just the wayward actions of a few bad apples.”

State Rep. Mary Flowers, the longest serving member of the Illinois House, said the problems go deeper than ethics reforms.

“I understand we need to talk about ethics, but more importantly, we really need more ethical people,” said Flowers, D-Chicago. “I don’t know of any mandates or any types of resolutions or any type of bill that’s going to be sponsored by any of us that’s going to give us what we think we need as far as protection.”

Flowers said she is praying for Mapes and his family.

Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch’s office declined to comment on an ongoing federal investigation.

An arraignment for Mapes has yet to be scheduled.

Mapes was let go from his position under Madigan in 2018 following public allegations of sexual harassment. An inspector general in 2019 said Mapes should never be allowed to work for state government again. 

Mapes' indictment is the latest in the ComEd case, but there were a slew of other state government officials who have been charged with federal crimes. That list is not limited to the late former state Sen. Martin Sandoval, who pleaded guilty in early 2020 of taking bribes from red light camera vendors to effectively kill legislation regulating the industry. In a separate case, federal prosecutors arrested former state Rep. Luis Arroyo in 2019, who was charged with taking a bribe from a state senator believed to be former state Sen. Terry Link. Link was later charged with tax evasion. There's also the pending charge against state Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, who's accused of embezzling from a labor union. 


Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.